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5 Things To Know About Paternity In Texas

Paternity is the legal recognition of a father-child relationship. When a father acknowledges his child and takes steps to become their primary caregiver and financial provider, it’s called establishing paternity. If you are in a child custody case or if you have reason to believe that another man may be the father of your child, learning about paternity in Texas will help you understand your rights and the legal processes involved with proving who fathered your child or children. Under Texas law, the concept of “paternity” is very important as the father of a child has certain rights and responsibilities towards that child. To help you understand this topic better, we have listed some important insights on paternity in Texas.

1. What Is Paternity

Paternity is the legal term for fatherhood. In Texas, paternity is automatically established if the parents of a child are married. However, When a child is born to parents who are not married in Texas, the law does not consider the child’s biological father to be a legal parent. Until paternity is established, a parent who is not married to the mother of their child does not have legal rights to his child.

2. How Is Paternity Established In Texas

In Texas, there are 3 ways that paternity can be established:

1. Marriage: When a couple is married and the husband is the biological father, paternity is automatically presumed. No additional steps are required to establish paternity for married couples in Texas.

2. Acknowledgment of Paternity: Parents who are not married can sign a legal form called the Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) if they both agree that he is the child’s biological father. The Texas Attorney General’s website provides a guide to paternity in Texas including all the information you need to know.

3. Court Order: Parents who aren’t married can acquire a court order declaring the child’s legal father through the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division or by working with a lawyer.

3. What Are The Benefits Of Establishing Paternity

There are several benefits that come with proving paternity:

-It establishes a legal connection between father and child.
-Establishing paternity allows for the father’s name to appear on the child’s birth certificate.
-Child support, health care coverage, and various forms of medical support all require the establishment of paternity.
-It protects a child’s right to inheritance if the father were to pass away.
-The father’s family medical history may be accessed by the child.
-The court requires it prior to requesting custody, parenting time, or child support.

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4. How To File An Acknowledgment Of Paternity (AOP)

Parents who aren’t married can establish legal paternity in Texas through a legal document known as an Acknowledgment Of Paternity (AOP). Both parents must work with an AOP-certified entity to complete and file an AOP. The Office of the Attorney General has trained AOP-certified entities to assist parents in establishing paternity voluntarily. Speak with one of our experienced Texas paternity attorneys if you have questions regarding this process.

5. How Is Mistaken Paternity Established

Texas courts can terminate a parent-child relationship and the obligation to pay child support in incidents of mistaken paternity. If a man is ordered to pay child support but doubts he is the child’s father, a genetic test is required to establish mistaken paternity. Additionally, A man who is questioning his legal relationship with a child in Texas must file a petition with the court asking that the parent-child relationship be terminated.

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced family lawyers takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. We understand the financial burden a divorce can have on an individual. As such we have created our industry-first SimpleStart™ program, providing people a chance to reduce the amount of money needed upfront to start their case. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life.

By: MFL Team

Posted October 20, 2022


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